Finding an Affordable New Homestead

Remember over six months ago when I shared that we were shopping for a new homestead for our family? After many months of searching for the right property at an affordable price, we finally found our new home. On the first of this month we closed on our new homestead!

new montana homestead missoula valley mountain view

Remember that post I wrote way back in December on our  Homestead Property Shopping Wish List? Well our new homestead has everything on that list except a root cellar which means we just have to figure out how to make one. Our new homestead has:

  • A house with more square footage than our old house
  • A shop for my husband to set up his mechanic and wood working tools
  • Six fruit trees (apple, pear and apricot!) plus a ton of other well established shade trees
  • Outbuildings for animals
  • A deep well to supply the house PLUS an additional irrigation well!
  • Almost 4.5 acres of pasture so plenty of space to put in a garden, greenhouse, chickens and goats
  • A nice sized pantry
  • Still in Missoula County and actually closer to my part time job than our old house


The outbuildings are 100+ year old wood train cars with beautiful metal roof details. Next summer’s project will be repainting these old beauties!

old wood train car metal roof detail trim

Amazingly our new homestead cost us about 1/2 the price of what our old house was worth and our old house sits on less than a 1/2 acre! How? We bought a bank owned home, also known as a foreclosure. We figured out early in our new home shopping that the homes we could afford were too far from town for me to be able to commute to my part time job in town. To be able to afford a home still in Missoula County, we shifted our search to homes listed as short sales, pre-foreclosure and bank owned homes.

This winter my husband devoted time to researching the websites that listed the short sales and bank owned homes in our area. He diligently started checking them daily and it paid off. The morning our new house was listed on a local foreclosure website, my husband was on the phone with our realtor setting up an appointment to go see it. As we were headed to the house to check it out, we found out there were some other offers already being submitted and the house hadn’t even been open for offers for more than a few hours! We submitted an offer anyway, crossed our fingers and waited. We were thrilled to hear that our offer was accepted.

We haven’t moved into our  new home yet because like many bank owned homes it is a “fixer upper”. Every bank owned home we looked at this year was stripped by the former owners: light fixtures removed leaving dangling wires in gaping holes on the ceilings, woodstoves taken out, flooring and interior doors gone, appliances gone. I guess the former owners who were losing their homes figured they would take anything of worth that they could if the bank was taking the house. We looked at it as having a clean palatte to start with so we could remodel the home the way we want.

I was going to share some pictures of the inside of our fixer upper in this post but decided to save it for a separate post about our remodel process so you can see the before and after pictures. The first thing that really made me fall in love with our new homestead were all the fruit trees hanging full of fruit. The apricots are just starting to ripen so we’ll be busy harvesting this week!

red pear tree western montana homestead
apricot tree western montana homestead
green apple tree missoula homesteading western montana

There are also a bunch of shrubs and flowers planted on the property including lilacs, hops, Mock Orange and rose bushes.

hearty rose bushes missoula montana

We also finally have enough big trees to hang up some of our hammocks. Our little nugget LOVES to swing in the hammock with her mama!

summertime hammock swing missoula montana

Stay tuned for more posts on our big homestead remodel adventure!

This post shared on: Homestead Barn Hop, Clever Chicks Blog Hop,Tuesday Greens, Backyard Farming Connection Hop,Wildcrafting Wednesday, Mountain Woman Rendezvous,Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways,The HomeAcre Hop, Simple Lives Thursday, Natural Living Link Up, Thank Your Body Thursday,From the Farm Blog Hop, Small Footprint Fridays,

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Comments

  1. says

    Beautiful! I love the view! Can’t wait to see your garden next year and also the outbuildings when you repaint the roofs! Glad you got a good deal on the place. I know that foreclosures can have a lot of bidding competition but I am also glad to hear that you won!

  2. says

    This is surely a very exciting time in your life! Although you’ll have to put in sweat equity to the house, it sounds like it will be a perfect fit for y’all – CONGRATS! (visiting through ‘From The Farm’ hop)

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

  3. says

    Have fun in your new place! We bought a foreclosure 4 years ago and I wouldn’t do it again. We ended up putting in way more work than I ever wanted to and it’s still not that great. I hope your experience will be better!

  4. says

    Just stumbled across your site! So glad that I found it. My husband I are on a 5 year journey to save, prepare for and buy a mortgage-free homestead (probably in Idaho). I love hearing about families that are just a few years ahead of us on their dream. It keeps me motivated to keep chipping away at our dream! I look forward to reading more and hearing about your transition as you setting into your new homestead.

    http://www.naturenurturegrow.com/2013/10/the-grand-dream-part-i-backstory.html#.Up5Xlo1TClg

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